I wish I could say I started this challenge as some noble endeavor: a love of the outdoors, a need to connect with nature, or a longing to explore a city I live in but see too little of. Nope. Anyone who knows me knows I hate nature. So, let’s call it a little bit of vanity (I need to lose weight), a little bit of boredom, and a little bit of “Matt Found This Book in the Bargain Bin at Borders.” I don’t actually know if that’s true, but he showed up with this book one day and we hatched the idea to do them all. Oh – the book we’re following, the inspiration for the 60 hikes, is 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Washington, DC.
Of course, Matt and I had the obvious fear that we would give birth to this baby plan and never see it grow. We’re a whole lotta talk and very little action. The couch calls and I must answer. But here’s how it works: We started talking about it to anyone who would listen or dare utter “Any big plans this weekend?” Parents, friends, coworkers… Matt pointed this out but – How embarrassing would it be to talk about our grand 10 miler and future plans to conquer the world, er, I mean 60 hikes in 60 weeks, if on Monday morning when people asked we both just hung our heads sheepishly and said, “Oh, yeah, um, I didn’t do that…I sat on my couch watching Netflix and eating my feelings…”
I know. So embarrassing. That’s what I was thinking.
And so began, “I Like Hike.” Well, we started hiking at least. The idea for the blog came a bit later.
It’s the beginning of August and DC has had record heat this summer. Most of July’s days had a heat index of well over 100 degrees. That brings us to Saturday, August 6, 2011. The first hike was Lincoln Park to the Lincoln Memorial and back, which the book dubs 8.6 miles and what I’m dubbing The Lincoln Loop. Clever, right? (I may or may not have stolen that gem of a title – I really don’t know). But, Matt recently moved to Eastern Market and that’s where we walked from, so let’s just round it up to about 10 miles. 10 MILES.
10 MILES!!! I was nervous. Really nervous. I’m not going to speak for Matt – but I’m (ahem) a little out of shape. I know from friends training for the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk, that walking at a leisurely pace and flat road or not – you can’t just bust out 10 miles without achy joints, blisters, sore feet, etc. I was also a little paranoid that it would take us 5 hours. Having once stood at the top of the Capitol Dome and looked down The Mall – the Lincoln Memorial is like, really far away. Worried that if we started the walk at 10:30 am, we’d be stuck in severe heat at the peak sun hours of the day, I had the grand plan to start at 8am. Matt woke up on time, but being that I don’t even wake up at 8 on a workday, I did not. I am…the weakest link. So, we started at 10am anyway. The good news is: It was only about 88 degrees that day and it only took 2.5 hours. Visions of stress fractures and heat stroke quickly vanished once we began. We were back at Matt’s by 12:30. The bad news is: Hudson was a little worse for wear. I’ll let Matt elaborate in a later post, should he feel that Hudson not get too embarrassed.
We felt so empowered by our accomplishment and endorphins that we thought, “Pshhhhhh, stupid hikes – We could do one of you every day.” And then, in typical loudmouth fashion I blabbed to parents, friends, and coworkers, “Oh, yeah, Matt and I are doing this hike-a-week thing. No biggie.” And to come full circle, we didn’t want to be embarrassed for letting the plan fizzle out, yada yada yada, we’re doing one hike a week.
Admirable. I know.
And that's how we started this blog. Because how else do people get movie deals? Duh.